Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 8, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, February 8, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 29 Alberta experienced booming year' -Miniely EDMONTON (CP) Alberta experienced a boom year and has moved into "the strongest financial position of any provin- cial government in Provincial Treasurer Gordon Miniely said in his budget address Friday night. He devoted much of his election-year speech in the legisla- ture to what he called "the magnitude of the change in Al- berta's financial position." For example, Alberta will put billion by Dec. 31 into a special trust fund to help the future development of the prov- ince. Mr. Miniely did not give details about the fund, except to say it will be financed by a portion of the crude oil royalties follow- ing government policy that a substantial part of the royalties "must be invested in "such a way as to promote diversification of our economic base." He said Albertans will enjoy the lowest personal income tax rates in Canada, the lowest gasoline tax, lowest residential property tax and receive support for social and other gov- ernment services equal to, or better than, that of any other provincial government. Alberta remains the only province where there is no general provincial sales tax. Alberta's total anticipated revenue from oil and gas for the 1975-76 fiscal year starting April 1 will be billion out of total anticipated revenue of billion. Resource revenues could go substantially higher when the Alberta government increases its crude oil prices, as it plans to do this spring. Mr. Miniely said that despite international economic prob- lems and "a distinct slowing of the Canadian economy during Alberta registered a big increase in average income tor residents and in the number of jobs. The unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada and the lowest in the province since 1967. He added that although price increases for consumer goods have been large, inflation has been less severe in Alberta than for Canadians as a whole. "We are concerned, however, with the effect of inflation on personal income." The value of manufacturing shipments rose by 20 per cent in 1974, investment spending increased by 24 per cent and the value of retail trade advanced by 19 per cent. Mr. Miniely listed specific measures designed to strengthen Alberta's economic base: million for development of major secondary roads, a 26-per-cent increase over the 1974 forecast. million to help municipal government local transpor- tation needs. million to provide natural gas service to Alberta households. million, a 44-per-cent increase from the 1974 budget, for development of regional government offices throughout the province. million for additional financing of the Alberta Oppor- tunity Co., a government agency which makes loans to small businesses. million for guaranteed loans to Alberta publishers. million for additional funding of the Agricultural Development Corp. million, a 15-per-cent increase, for technical and vocational training programs, and million, a 43-per-cent increase, for manpower development programs. Highlights Taxpayers promised cut of budget EDMONTON (CP) A basic 28 per cent reduction in .Alberta personal income taxes effective Jan. 1, 1975, which will cost the govern- ment million this year. selective income tax reductions providing million in benefits to Alber- tans with taxable incomes below and eliminating persons from the tax rolls. Establishment of a billion trust fund to be used for diversification of the economy. Growth in public service restrained to 3.2 per cent, or 855 new permanent positions. Revenues This graph, showing percentage distribution of budget revenues, was released Friday by the Alberta government during budget speech. of each this year Government puts wealth to work EDMONTON (CP) The Alberta government plans to use some of its vast revenues to support social and other government services equal to or better than those of any other provincial government, Provincial Treasurer Gordon Miniely said Friday night in his budget address. The measures are designed to offset increased costs of living experienced by Alber- tans and give people over 65 an assurance of a minimum income and access to housing, he told the legislature. He also announced "sub- stantially increased assistance" to Alberta "municipalities. This includes million, an increase of 15 per cent, in unconditional municipal assistance grants and million to lower in- terest rates to eight per cent on some new borrowings from the Alberta Municipal Finance Corp. "Total direct financial assistance to Alberta municipalities will increase 28 per cent to million in Mr. Miniely said. The government announced a 20-per-cent increase in funds to reduce property taxes for Albertans to a total million. Among the programs designed to counteract the effects of inflation on in- dividuals is an additional million for an increase of about 33 per cent in payments by the workers' compensation board to permanently disabl- ed workers. An additional million will provide for an average in- crease of 15.6 per cent in basic allowances for public assistance payments. The School Foundation Program and grants to schools are to increase by 18.6 per cent to million. Total spending on education is ex- pected to reach million, compared with in .the 1974-75 forecast. Hospital payments will be increased by million to million while payments to the health care insurance commission will rise by million to million. Other health and social development costs will amount to million, a 27.9 per cent in- crease from 1974-75 forecasts. .Mr. Miniely listed direct measures to increase spen- dable incomes of Albertans, including million for rebates on natural gas rates and million to offset future gas rate increases. The budget includes provisions for extensive measures to help persons over 65, a main feature of the throne speech last .month. It provides million to en- sure that every person over 65 receiving the old age pension and the guaranteed income supplement gets a minimum monthly income of Also included is million for new housing projects for the elder- ly and million for dental services, hearing aids, sur- gical and medical equipment and supplies and a major por- tion of eyeglass costs. The department of culture. youth and recreation receives a budget increase of 74.6 per cent to million. Funds from other departments are to raise total spending for recreational and cultural development to million. Included is million to continue development of provincial urban parks in Ed- monton and Calgary, million for development of rural provincial parks, million to support for 1978 Commonwealth Games in Ed- monton and million to ex- pand McMahon Stadium in .Calgary, site of the 1975 Grey Cup game. Teachers protest grants EDMONTON (CP) Sing- ing "solidarity forever" to the tune of Glory hallelujah and waving brightly colored placards, about 200 teachers demonstrated on the steps of the legislature Friday night for higher school foundation .grants. They also clustered in the foyer of the legislative building, as provincial Treasurer Gordon Miniely was reading the government's budget for 1975-76. The budget said the province would contribute a 15 per cent increase in the per pupil grant to the school foundation fund and provide million for a program to equalize supplementary school requisition revenues. But the teachers, mostly young adults and representing public and separate schools in Edmonton, said it was not enough. ".We're trying to focus attention to the fact that the grant is simply not ade- said one public school teacher. "Teachers' salaries are too low and there are too many kids to a classroom. And what's the use of having 000 for library books with only a half time Ken Donnelly, a teacher at St. Kevin's Elementary and Junior High School, said the demonstrating was initially organized by the Edmonton public and separate school locals, but the organizations have decided to "disown" the protest. "I think the government's priorities are he said, echoing a chant heard on the legislature steps: "We need food, not Syncrude." Another teacher said the cost of supplies needed by the Edmonton public school board had risen 57 per cent while the School Foundation Grant had gone up by 15 per cent. The teachers' estimates of what they needed in the way of an increase in school foun- dation grants varied from 20 to 40 per cent. "I shudder to think my kids are going to be going through this school said one young teacher from M. A. Gray Elementary .Junior High School. He, like the other teachers, said he represented no organization but was there to demonstrate his concern as a citizen. Gov't to increase spending on Claresholm centre 39% NDERSON GENCIES A Complete Real Estate and Insurance Service FOR YOU! FIRE Lirt AUTO LIABILITV BONDING PENSION REGISTERED RETIREMENT SAVINGS 415 3rd Ave. S., Lethbridrje Bus 357-1657 Garry Clarke r Hours: 345-309? Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON Provincial government spending at the Claresholm in-patient centre by the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Commission will in- crease 38.8 per cent this year. The centre cost about 000 to run in the last fiscal year and is projected in Friday's budget to cost 000 in 1975-76. It provides active treatment, preventive education, professional train- ing and community agency in- volvement to assist and rehabilitate alcohol and drug dependent persons. General programs to assist dependent persons in the southern region will cost a 1.1 per cent in- crease. The provincial treasurer also estimated that it will cost 11.7 per cent more to run the Lethbridge Correctional In- stitution this year. He es- timated the cost at million compared with million last year. The province added million to this year's es- timates for improved policing services, including provision for 62 more RCMP eon- stables. It will invest for a new community corrections program, "to im- prove rehabilitation programs for inmates of provincial cor- rectional and for expanding operations of the Calgary Re- mand and Detention Centre. LARGEST IN EUROPE France, square miles in area, is the largest country in Western Europe. EDMONTON (CP) The provincial government Friday night promised Alberta tax- payers an average reduction of each this year in per- sonal income taxes. The move will cost the oil- rich province million and give Alberta the lowest rate of personal income tax in Canada, Provincial Treasurer Gordon Miniely said in his budget address to the legislature. The change, retroactive to Jan. 1, 1975, reduces personal provincial income taxes by a basic 28 per cent and is de- signed to increase spendable incomes of Albertans by million, helping to offset cost- of-living increases. In addition, Mr. Miniely proposed selective reductions to lower taxes for lower-income residents at a cost of million. Another residents, who would, no longer pay federal income tax, would no longer have to pay any Alberta income tax. The new personal income tax rate would be equal to 26 per cent of the basic federal tax, a reduction from the current 36 per cent., Alberta's 26 per cent would compare with 30.5 per cent in British Columbia and Ontario, the next lowest. Prince Edward Island'follows at 36 per cent and Nova Scotia 38.5 per cent while Saskatchewan and Newfoundland are next at 40 per cent. Then comes New Brunswick at 41.5 and Manitoba at 42.5. Quebec collects its own per- sonal income tax. Mr. Miniely, delivering an election-year budget, called the tax reduction "a logical and equitable way to provide the benefits of Alberta's resource directly to Alber- tans." He told reporters: "We are very fortunate as Albertans." The provincial treasurer said an average family of four with income of would receive annual tax savings of under the new plan. A married taxpayer with two children under 16 years and earning would see his provincial income tax reduced to from a drop of or cent. He would not be affected by the selective cuts. A single person with no de- pendents earning would pay instead of and would also receive a selective tax reduction of This gives him a total tax reduction of 43 per cent or The selective cuts are de- signed to provide million in benefits to Albertans with tax- able incomes below one-third of the province's tax-payers. Albertans with taxable incomes below would no longer pay provin- cial income tax. Proposed measures from Ottawa would eliminate federali income tax for this category. Above the benefit is reduced gradually so that Albertans with taxable in- comes of more than will receive no selective cuts. "The combined effect of the general and selective tax reductions is to reduce Alberta income tax by 64 per cent, for individuals with tax- able income of and by 39 per cent for individuals with taxable income of Mr. Miniely said. Albertans would start to realize these reductions by New hatchery Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The province will spend in the next year to establish a new pheasant hatchery at Brooks. The hatchery should help revive Southern Alberta's declining pheasant pop- ulation. July 1 when new tax deduction tables are expected to be worked out with the federal government, he said. The provincial treasurer outlined increases in tax credits to residents who rent their homes, doubling the level of benefits. A renter with taxable income and monthly rent of would receive a credit of a year. The current credit is The minimum credit would be and the maximum, for persons with a monthly rent over would be Total cost for this program combined with continuing assistance to homeowners Is million, a 15.5 per cent increase. Old, new taxes EDMONTON (CP) Alberta government tables issued Friday night showing old and new basic taxes and savings after vi come Total Annual Cuts Saving Single 71 86 '151 199 279 437 612 Two 16 12 72 98 143 216 936 360 530 TOTAL DIRECT PAYMENTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, INSTITUTIONS AND PERSONS 26% PROVINCIALLY ADMINISTERED PROGRAMS 13% 1974-75" 1975-76 Expenditures Government graph shows growth of Alberta's operating expenditures. It was released when Pro- vincial Treasurer Gordon Miniely presented the 1975-76 budget to the legislature. 974-75 1975-76 Boy, 4, 'little bonfire' OTTAWA (CP) Police said Friday an attempted murder charge awaits the man who deliberately set fire to a four-year-old boy Thurs- day night., Michael Demers, in serious but stable condition in the Eastern Ontario Children's Hospital with burns to 40 per cent of his found ablaze in a field near his home in south Ottawa. "He says it was a big guy who asked him for said Louise Demers, the mother. "He told him he didn't have any and the guy threw fire on she said, adding that she smelled gas- oline from the child's burned clothing. The boy was rescued by 18- year-old Wayne Lambert who noticed "a little bonfire" and heard screams as he crossed the field on a shortcut home from school about p.m. "Mr. Lambert rolled the boy in the snow, wrapped him in his jacket and carried him across the field to the housing project where the Lamberts live. Mrs. Demers, who moved in to the area last Friday, said it was hard to believe the fire was deliberately set. H. H. Smith Ltd. Customs Broker U4IHHSI COUTTS Home Office Phone 344-3122 MEMORIALS LTD. I.E. (Ed) CHURCH Mr. Arthur Waldner, Presi- dent of Town and Country Memorials Ltd., would like to announce the appointment of Mr. T. E. (Ed) Church as Southern" Alberta Sales Representative. This appointment is part of the expansion of Town and Country Memorials Ltd., an Alberta company renowned for distinctive granite and marble monuments. The company is well known for the "Shape Carve" designs and its high quality of guaranteed workmanship. Ed can be reached at Box 101, Lethbridge, phone 328-6331. BMutiful old btdroom bunji- ow in quUI eretctnt. CompWtlir dtvtlojtd o Ihroujhout. rodi, drupti, HOY., Iridjt, wet .nd Thit horn. H 130S MtehlMn mutt to Thit home will open for showing on February Mh 9th from p.m. to p.m. (4972) Call ROY CLELANO tor Full at 327-6338 or 329-3331.